Scotland v Ireland, Aberdeen, 3rd day August 20, 2006

Irish frustration boils over

Cricinfo staff

Conspiracy theories are doing the rounds in Aberdeen after the third day of the Intercontinental Cup match between Scotland and Ireland was called off half an hour before the start.

Water had seeped under the covers during heavy overnight rain and more than half the pitch was damp despite the covering looking more than adequate when the teams left the ground on the second evening

Although the umpires were willing to wait until later in the day to give the pitch time to dry, Craig Wright and Trent Johnston, the captains, took the decision themselves and abandoned the day. The anger on the Irish side spilled over when Niall O'Brien, the Kent wicketkeeper, had words with the groundsman and could be in trouble with the match referee as a result. A formal report has been submitted on the incident and the groundsman was preparing to make a complaint.

The frustration for Ireland was magnified because they'd managed to bring themselves back into the match on the second evening, despite conceding a 91-run first-innings lead. They reduced Scotland to 24 for 4 in their second innings and were denied a fifth wicket when Danish umpire, Neils Bagh, turned down a huge shout after Neil McCallam appeared to edge the ball.

Ireland need as much as possible on the final day as Scotland have already secured six points for a first-innings lead. However, there was no action before lunch on Sunday.